Pragmatic multicentre stepped-wedge cluster randomised trial to investigate the effectiveness of community-based falls prevention programme for older adults with falls risk in Singapore: a protocol paper
Introduction: Falls are an important public health issue with consequences that include injuries, quality of life reduction and high healthcare costs. Studies show that falls prevention strategies are effective in reducing falls rate among community-dwelling older adults. However, the evaluation for effectiveness was usually done in a controlled setting with homogeneous population, and thus may not be generalisable to a wider population. This study aims to evaluate the impact of community falls prevention programmes with group-based strength and balance exercises, on falls risk and health outcomes for older adults with falls risk in Singapore.
Methods and analysis: This is a pragmatic closed cohort stepped-wedge cluster randomised trial design study, which involves sequential crossover of clusters from the waitlist control condition to the intervention condition, with the sequence of crossover randomly determined. The intervention will be sequentially rolled out to 12 clusters (a minimum of 5 participants/cluster), over 6 time periods with 8-week intervals in Central and North regions of Singapore. The primary analysis will be conducted under the intention-to-treat principle. A general linear mixed model or generalised estimating equation analysis appropriate for a multilevel longitudinal study incorporating an appropriate error distribution and link function will be used. Markov model will be developed to estimate the incremental cost per quality-adjusted life years and incremental cost per fall prevented from the implementation of falls prevention strategies from a societal perspective. Conditional on there being clinically relevant differences in short-term outcomes, we will implement simulation modelling to project the long-term divergence in trajectories for outcomes and costs using the Markov model.
Ethics and dissemination: Ethics approval has been obtained. Results will be disseminated in publications and other relevant platforms.
Trial registration number: NCT04788251.
National Innovation Challenge on Active and Confident Ageing
Journal/Conference/Book titleBMJ Open